To the details!
Packet Pick-up: packet pick-up was low key at the Best Western in Kenosha the day before the race. In and out in about five minutes with number, t-shirt, cheese samples and a bag full of flyers for other races. This race has two other packet pick-ups on different days near Chicago and one near Milwaukee. They make it easy to get your number.
I love the design of the race shirt and the numbers looked different depending on if you were running the half or full. There seemed to be about 10 half marathoners for every full marathon runner. It was very noticeable how small the marathon field was when the half marathons pulled off the course to the finish.
Race Day: Though there were varying reports of weather- everything from impending doom (rain and wind) to just cloudy. Surprisingly it turned out to be a great day for running. Cooler at the start, warming up gradually but never getting uncomfortably warm. The sun even came out. Can't beat that.
|Two thumbs up for marathons|
The Volunteers: If I could go back and hug every volunteer out there I would. The race volunteers had tuxedo t-shirts on which really classed this whole race up. Kidding but it did put a smile on my face. Every volunteer was friendly and cheering and happy to help and told me that I looked strong and good, etc. when I am sure I really looked like death. Thank you volunteers for lying to me and for being awesome!
The Crowds: There was lots of cheering crowds for the first half. Less so for the second 13.1. For the first half lots of families and friends with signs. My personal favorite was the lady with the sign that read "Oh you are running a marathon. Honey Badger doesn't give a shit". I busted up laughing both times I saw her. I saw D cheering me on around mile 5 which really gave me a boost. After the half marathoners split off it got pretty quiet though there were small groups of family and friends and of course the great volunteers including the police officers along the course who were cheering. Some people in the neighborhood we ran through put up tables with cups or bottled water for the runners which I thought was very sweet.
|Wow a running picture where I actually look like I am running|
1 9:42 (wow this race seems super crowded)
2 9:30 (no weaving- don't waste any energy)
3 9:25 (oh this is easy I am gonna finish this thing in like 4 hours)
4 9:23 (I am totally awesome)
5 9:25 (Still awesome)
6 9:55 (Ugh was that a tiny hill)
7 9:41 (running is fun)
8 9:54 (mmmm gatorade)
9 9:47 (wow what if I could totally run all 26 miles in the 9's)
10 9:55 (I am totally killing this)
11 10:13 (I am beginning to regret my earlier speedy smugness)
12 10:07 (nah it is fine I got this)
13 10:43 (maybe I can keep all miles in the 10's- that would also be cool)
14 10:24 (second wind-weeeee)
15 10:53 (Huh this suddenly got very hard)
16 11:52 (Oh my god I hate gravel)
17 11:15 (maybe between 11 and 12 min- I feel the bar is lowering)
18 12:22 (Walk breaks are awesome)
19 11:36 (this seems like an awfully long way)
20 13:16 (Walk breaks are really awesome and kind of getting away from me)
21 11:59 (bam- in the 11's- nailed it)
22 13:14 (More walking less running, ugh running is hard)
23 12:51 (only like a 5k to go- oh my god a whole 5k)
24 12:36 (And I am still running)
25 12:44 (so close yet so far)
26 13:21 (I can almost taste the victory beer)
27 9:14 (random burst of awesome at the end- hey at least finish strong)
What I did right: Fueling: I never felt out of energy from lack of fuel. I had a plan to have a Gu every five miles and that seemed to work well for me. And help break the marathon up into manageable five miles sections, they began to seem less manageable towards the end. Towards the end my stomach was kind of not having it but I fed it Gu anyway and it just dealt with it. Mental game: I did get tired and it did get uncomfortable but I kept going and pushing through and never doubted my ability to finish strong.
|I am the master of fueling. Like you ever doubted it.|
|The greatest thing about this race was it gave me this golden photo opportunity|
Final thoughts: I loved this race. I loved training for this race and running this race. Did I love it every step of the way. No- I think anyone who has ever run a marathon or even a half marathon, or even just have taken up running have a few moments when they are like "you know I could just be drinking wine in my backyard with a good book, or napping, or doing anything else but this relentless movement forward". But there is nothing like crossing the finish line and the feeling of accomplishment. Plus I love me some medals. Especially cheese themed medals
|Blues cheese was the theme and the back of the race shirt says Say Cheese!|